On an early July morning in Bordentown, N.J., as driver Carmen DiLuzio was releasing his flatbed’s tie-down straps, one of the precast concrete road barriers he was hauling toppled and killed him. In another incident on a Pennsylvania highway, a precast slab shifted after securement straps snapped; both the load and truck overturned.
For precast producers, precast transport drivers and employers, cargo securement is critical to prevent driver injury or death and to ensure the safety of the driving public and pedestrians.
Who is responsible for cargo securement? Drivers, along with employers, are responsible for cargo inspection and securement, regardless of who loaded the cargo (unless cargo is locked in a trailer).1
Who determines rules for cargo securement? Interstate commerce must comply with new 2004 cargo securement rules from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).2 These rules, from U.S. and Canadian industry experts and enforcement officials, include safe cargo securement regulations, WLL (working load limit) and the minimum number of tie-downs for commercial vehicles.
Aggregate WLL limit for cargo securement must be at least one-half the cargo’s weight. The aggregate load is the sum of one-half WWL of each tie-down that goes from a vehicle anchor point to a cargo anchor point + WLL for each tie-down that runs from a vehicle anchor point, through, over or around the cargo and then attaches to another vehicle anchor point.
Minimum number of tie-downs must comply with minimum WWL rules in addition to the following:
• When cargo is not blocked or braced to prevent forward movement: one tie-down for articles ≤ 5 ft in length and ≤ 1,100 lb in weight; two tie-downs for articles ≤ 5 ft in length and > 1,100 lb in weight or > 5ft but < 10 ft in length, regardless of weight
• When cargo is blocked: one tie-down for every 10 ft of article length
Answer true or false for the statements in each category.
Answers are below.
1. Cargo securement devices:
a) Must not contain knots T/F
b) Must have edge protection (rub rails) whenever a tie-down is subject to abrasion/cutting where it touches the cargo T/F
c) Must be capable of withstanding three deceleration and acceleration forces as listed in FMCA section 393.102 T/F
2. Acceptable practices under FMCSA:
a) Unmarked tie-down devices are prohibited3 T/F
b) Aggregate WWL (working load limit) of any securement system must equal one-third the weight of an article or group of articles T/F
c) Concrete pipe and other commodity securement requirements cause the biggest disagreements between industry and FMCA regulations T/F
3. Types of tie-down assemblies not marked with a WWL:4
a) For steel strapping not marked with WWL by the manufacturer, WWL equals one-fourth of breaking strength T/F
b) Wire rope not marked with WWL by manufacturer, WWL equals one-half the nominal strength T/F
c) Steel strapping 1 in. or wider must have must have at least two pairs of crimps in each seal, and when an end-over-end lap joint is formed, must be sealed with a minimum of two seals T/F
4. Number of tie-downs required (if an article is not blocked by a header board or bulkhead):
a) Is determined by article length and weight T/F
b) 2 tie-downs if article is > 10 ft. and < 1,100 lb T/F